How to Maintain your Indoor Garden

Indoor gardens provide us a clean, green escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Plants provide us with cleaner air, cooler temperatures, and beautiful, lush-green scenery from shrubs and others right in the comfort of our homes.

An indoor garden, however, does not have the benefits of gaining a wide expansion of space where plants can grow into, nor does it have the bright sunshine and warm breeze that plants need to survive. The soil in potted plants has less nutrients than garden soil, which processes and breaks down nutrients continuously.

For the indoor gardener, mimicking the natural environment of these plants helps to keep your plants in shape and your garden blooming. You’ll need to provide your plants with the water, light, and nutrients they need to survive, as well as protect them from pests and dust.

Quarantine New Plants

Bringing home new ivy potted plants from the nursery can fill you with joy and excitement, especially when you’ve just picked the perfect plant to add to your indoor garden. On the outside, these plants may look healthy and clean, but we don’t see what pests could possibly be lurking underneath the soil.

Avoid spreading garden pests like aphids, scales, and mealybugs by quarantining the plant away from other plants to check if an infestation would occur in the next few days. Monitor the plant’s leaves to see if the roots have root rot, and disinfect the soil to prevent spreading fungus and bacteria harmful to plants.

Let your Plants Settle

Plants are like any other living thing, and they get stressed easily when they’re in a new environment. When bringing home a new plant, avoid repotting it or transferring the plant to your soil bed. Your plant needs to adapt and settle in its new environment to avoid transplanting shock as much as possible.

Keep your plant away from direct sunlight, and skip the fertilizer until the plant has completely adjusted to your home. Adjustment differs from plant to plant, but the standard time for a potted plant to settle is around 5-7 days.

Grow Local Plants

Those fancy, imported ornamental plants may look exotic, but your home is not their native environment. Imported plants tend to be more finicky, as they struggle to adapt to their new surroundings. If you’ve got a green thumb, then you can try your hand at some of the hardier varieties, but it is always better to stick to the plants that can thrive in your area.

We highly recommend growing plants and flowers that are local to your area. Local flora attract beneficial pollinators that spread the pollen to other plants and cause flowers to bloom. Never plant imported plants in your outdoor garden soil, as these may turn invasive and choke out the local species.

Research Proper Plant Care

Plant care is more than just watering plants everyday. In fact, most plants shouldn’t have frequent watering schedules, as they can get root rot and fungus from the excess water. Research gives you a guide on how to properly grow your indoor garden, and tells you what to look out for in each plant species.

Research your plants before you buy them to know their preferences for sunlight, water schedule, humidity, temperature and other care necessities they would need to grow properly. You can also find out which plant species can go together, and which ones shouldn’t.

Clean Up your Indoor Garden

Dust can settle anywhere, and without a proper breeze and intermittent rain, indoor plants accumulate layers of dust on their leaves that block out light, starving the plant. The surrounding area also gets its fair share of debris, and you can’t avoid those accidental spills of potting mix in your home.

Cleaning your indoor garden is like cleaning the rest of your home, but without the harsh chemicals, like bleach and detergent, that could harm your plants. Cleaning your indoor garden and plant area requires you to move all the pots away, as well as the plant rack they sit on. You’ll need to clean the floors, pots, racks, and any equipment that you use for gardening.

If that sounds like too much work to squeeze into your busy schedule, hire a part-time maid instead who can help you around the house by focusing on cleaning tasks so you can keep up with your indoor plant care. Part-time cleaners can clean different areas of your home, including your indoor garden.

You can find out more here:

Make it Breezy

Not a lot of people know that breeze does an important job in growing plants to be strong and sturdy. The majority of gardeners often overlook providing their plants with a gentle breeze as they focus more on sunlight preferences and humidity for their plants.

However, the air circulation in your indoor garden is just as important in growing strong plants. The stems and roots of plants grow accordingly to the amount of touch and breeze they get in their surroundings. The stronger the breeze, the stronger the tendency for plants to develop thicker stems and roots to hold a firm ground against the breeze.

Make it breezy for your plants with an oscillating fan that provides your indoor garden with a nice, cool breeze. Not only will your plants grow less leggy, they will get thicker, healthier roots. Although, avoid strong gusts of wind that will blow the plant away, and consistently clean off any fallen leaves and soil to prevent mold from growing.

Alison Moore

With an MSc in Plant Science from the University of Edinburgh and 15 years of experience in botanical research, Alison Moore has been contributing to our platform since 2020. Before joining us, she worked with the National Park Service, focusing on native plant preservation. Alison's articles are known for their depth and clarity, often drawing from her field experiences. Besides writing, she is an avid gardener, specializing in native and medicinal plants. She enjoys hiking and documenting rare plant species in her free time.

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